By jaytan August 26, 2014

U of MMA (Final Logo)


Los Angeles, CA – Commemorating the University of MMA’s tenth show at Club Nokia at L.A. LIVE, legends such as UFC founder Art Davie, ‘Judo’ Gene LeBell, and ‘Big’ John McCarthy were in attendance to witness a night of high expectations and even more impressive performances. Three championship titles were on the line at University of MMA: Fight Night 8, adding to the prestige of a loaded card of fighters who turned in the best performances of their young careers.

In the end, the Deans List performance awards for Fight Night 8 are:

Fight of the Night: Roman Todorovich (Elite Training Center) vs. Shohei Yamamoto (CSW)

Knockout of the Night: Dominick Reyes (Cage Combat Academy)

Submission of the Night: Sergio Perez (Hayastan MMA)

Blue Chip Honors: Scorpio Sky (The Guild)

The Dean’s List is sponsored by OTM Fight Shops and WSS, which have contributed $100 gift cards to the winners. In addition to the traditional Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night, and Submission of the Night awards, Blue Chip honors is a special category to fighters who showed great showmanship, charisma and audience awareness.

“There were so many great and worthy performances this show we really had a hard time selecting the winners. That speaks to the heart and enthusiasm with which our amateur fighters fight,” said University of MMA founder Turi Altavilla.

In the main event, Roman ‘The Gladiator’ Todorovich (Elite Training Center) successfully defended his title against one of the most decorated up-and-coming fighters to have fought in the U of MMA cage, Shohei ‘Keji Toro’ Yamamoto (CSW). The world-renowned Kyokushin karate fighter Yamamoto brought the fight to Todorovich, landing several big punches, including an uppercut that dropped the champion. However, Todorovich responded with several takedowns, setting the course for the second round. The Gladiator was able to take Yamamoto down and secure a mid-scramble guillotine choke to end the fight. The furious pace and resiliency of both men etched their match on the Dean’s list for Fight of the Night honors.

The co-main event featured Dominick ‘The Devastator’ Reyes (Cage Combat Academy) defending his light heavyweight championship against Shane ‘Huggy Bear’ Mervau (West Coast Jiu Jitsu). Reyes, who won the title at Fight Night 7 just short of 30 seconds, beat his own record with a nine-second TKO finish at Fight Night 8 by landing the first punch of the fight and pouncing immediately with a several more lefts. Like Todorovich, Reyes’s win was not just a successful title defense, but a commanding performance that landed him on the Dean’s List for Knockout of the Night.

In the first title fight of the night, Tommy ‘The Spaniard’ Aaron (Elite Training Center) took on Cameron ‘Showtime’ Underhill (Aguirre Fight Systems) for the vacant University of MMA featherweight title. Aaron took control of the first two rounds putting Underhill through multiple submission attempts and a knockdown in the first round. Underhill put up some resistance in the third round, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Spaniard from earning the belt via unanimous decision victory.

Submission of the Night went to Sergio ‘Surge The Kid’ Perez (Team Hayastan) who submitted Albert Veloz (Cage Combat Academy) in 58 seconds by rear naked choke. Perez took of the fight early, immediately getting a takedown and taking Veloz’s back before sinking in the choke.

“This was another tremendous night of MMA action. I’m always inspired by the heart and fury our fighters bring to the cage. They really outdid themselves on this show,” commented University of MMA matchmaker Jay Tan.

In addition to the Dean’s list recipients and championship fights, there were several other incredible performances, including U of MMA veterans Ryan ‘The Lion’ Lilley (Bas Rutten’s Elite Training Center) and Juan Orta (Lightning MMA) who both put on spectacular showings in the cage. Lilley earned a first-round submission victory via rear-naked choke, while Orta exemplified superior striking and cage control to claim an indisputable unanimous decision win.

Not to be outdone, the U of MMA newcomers delivered with equal ferocity. U of MMA flyweight Gilbert Nakatani (Sampa BJJ/Sityodtong LA) made a statement in one of the most explosive fights of the night, stopping Hugo Aranda (House of Champions) early in the first round after getting clipped himself. Antonio Lopez (10th Planet Van Nuys/Gooch Training Academy) also impressed in his U of MMA debut defeating the tough Craig ‘Grasshopper’ Plaskett, Jr. (Team Hayastan) by TKO in the third round.

Pro wrestler Scorpio Sky (The Guild) was successful in a very formidable challenge against U of MMA fan favorite Jose ‘The Red Devil’ Jovel (Dream Killer Fight Team), owner of the fastest knockout in U of MMA history. Sky grounded Jovel early, securing an armbar that the referee stopped with seconds left in the first round. Sky’s pro wrestling persona came out in full force in his post-fight interview, taunting a potential U of MMA return before leading a loud “Yes!” chant which popped the audience as much for a second match as the pop culture reference. In a masterful display of controlling crowd psychology, Sky then dedicated his victory to his late mother (who died of cancer earlier this year) as well as all other cancer patients. “Keep fighting. Don’t give up,” he encouraged.

Michael ‘Lazer’ Reyes (10th Planet Van Nuys) and Julio Santa Cruz (Systems Training Center) also both made statements in their MMA debuts against more experienced opponents.

Quick results for University of MMA: Fight Night 8 (August 24, 2014):

153 lbs. catchweight (3 x 2 min., shin guards) – JULIO LOPEZ (Ruckus MMA) def. KURT EBERHARD (Nelson’s Boxing & MMA Club) via submission, R1, 1:20.

145 lbs. featherweight (3 x 2 min., shin guards) – LANCE LEE (Hayastan MMA) def. JOSH TRAVAGLIO (R1 MMA Training Center) via unanimous decision.

125 lbs. Flyweight (3 x 2 min., shin guards) GILBERT NAKATANI (Sampa BJJ/Sityodtong LA) def. HUGO ARANDA (House of Champions) via TKO, R1, 0:22.

145 lbs. (3 x 2 min., shin guards) – JUAN ORTA (Lightning MMA) def. JUAN VASQUEZ (Dream Killer Fight Team) via unanimous decision.

145 lbs. (3 x 2 min., shin guards) – SERGIO PEREZ (Hayastan MMA) def. ALBERT VELOZ (Cage Combat Academy) via submission, R1, 0:58.

190 lbs. catchweight (3 x 2 min., shin guards) – MICHAEL REYES (10th Planet Van Nuys) def. CHRIS RODRIGUEZ (Gracie Jiu Jitsu/Team Victory Muay Thai) via TKO, R1, 1:57.

155 lbs. (3 x 2 min., shin guards) – ANTONIO LOPEZ (10th Planet Van Nuys/Gooch Training Academy) def. CRAIG PLASKETT (Team Hayastan) via TKO, R3, 1:44.

135 lbs. (3 x 2 min., shin guards) – JULIO SANTA CRUZ (Systems Training Center) def. MILTON ARGUELLO (10th Planet Van Nuys) via unanimous decision.

155 lbs. (3 x 3 min., no shins) – RYAN LILLEY (Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA) def. A.J. BRYANT (XFit) via submission, R1, 1:20.

170 lbs. (3 x 2 min., shin guards) – SCORPIO SKY (The Guild) def. JOSE JOVEL (Dream Killer Fight Team) via submission, R1, 1:57.


145 lbs. (3 x 3 min., no shins) – TOMMY AARON (Elite Training Center) def. Cameron Underhill (Aguirre Fight Systems) via unanimous decision.


205 lbs. (3 x 3 min., no shins) – DOMINICK REYES (Cage Combat Academy) def. Shane Mervau (West Coast Jiu Jitsu) via knockout, R1, 0:09.


155 lbs. (3 x 3 min., no shins) – ROMAN TODOROVICH (Elite Training Center) def. SHOHEI YAMAMOTO (CSW) via submission, R2, 0:55.

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CONTACT: Either Turi Altavilla at and phone (310) 701-8339 or Jay Tan at and phone (213) 618-0332.

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About the University of MMA ( The University of Mixed Martial Arts (aka “The U”) is a Los Angeles-based fight promotion specializing in exciting, high-octane, upscale amateur MMA events around the Southern California region. Its mandate is to provide a stage for young, aspiring fighters to hone their MMA skills and develop themselves as marketable personalities and respectable ambassadors of the sport. The U was founded in 2010 and has run six shows in Southern California. The U serves as a scouting show for professional organizations such as the RFA and King of the Cage. Each event is sanctioned by the California Amateur MMA Organization (CAMO), which upholds the highest safety standards in the nation for amateur competition. The team behind the U collectively has over 20 years of experience in promoting professional MMA at the highest level of the sport, including international and domestic events broadcast on pay-per-view, cable, and network television. For tomorrow’s MMA stars and champions … IT STARTS HERE!

About OTM Fight Shops ( On The Mat (OTM) is an American company and brand dedicated to the sport and lifestyle of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), submission grappling (no-gi), and mixed martial arts (MMA). Founded in 1996 by owner Scotty Nelson in Mountain View, CA, OTM has become best known for its website,, which provides the largest online library of jiu-jitsu and grappling footage, including video magazines, instructional videos, and tournament compilations. Its online store and eight retail fight shops in California, Nevada, and New Mexico offer the widest selection of fight gear and apparel for fighters from every discipline. Additionally, OTM’s clothing line is among the most recognizable brands in BJJ and MMA, including a custom made jiu-jitsu gi called Lucky Gi. OTM has sponsored dozens of BJJ / MMA household names, such as B.J. Penn, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Jeff Monson, Kenny Florian, and Diego Sanchez.

About WSS ( WSS is a leading Southern California retailer founded in 1984. WSS (formerly Warehouse Shoe Sale) offers a wide variety of footwear, clothing, and accessories from all major brands. WSS carries over 3,000 of the latest styles from such brand names as Nike, Jordan, Vans, Converse, Sketchers, Reebock, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, DC Shoes, Timberland, K-Swiss, and many, many more. With over 25 years in business and 55 stores (Victorville, Bakersfield and Lancaster coming soon), WSS has an unrivaled reputation for having great values and great selection and for bringing customers the latest in the best styles. Participating in over 350 local events per year, WSS is also committed to giving back to the community.

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